One of the questions typically asked during an interview is about your future goals. Employers want to be sure that you won't be moving on to another job right away. New hires are expensive to bring on board and expensive to train. If you leave in a hurry, they'll be right back at square one.
This question is also a good way for them to determine if your career goals are a good fit for the company.
The most successful candidates are the ones whose ultimate aims align with those of the organization, even if they don't spend their entire career working for the same employer. (And let's face it, most don't.)
Finally, asking about your goals for the future is a way for the hiring manager to make sure that you have some – in other words, this question shows whether or not you have direction and some sort of plan. You don't need to wind up exactly where you're planning to be in five years, but you need to be pointed in the right direction.
How to Answer Interview Questions About Your Goals for the Future
The best way to respond to the interview question "What are your goals for the future?" or "Where do you see yourself in five years?" is to refer to the position and the company you are interviewing with.
While you don't want to lie during a job interview, it's best to stick to the parts of your vision that include the organization.
For example, if you're a newly minted Registered Nurse, and the hospital you're interviewing with doesn't have a lot of openings for Nurse Practitioners, now is not the time to mention that you're considering going back to school in a few years.
This is another reason why it's important to do your research before you arrive for the job interview.
Knowing what the company wants will help you emphasize your ability to solve their problems.
Similarly, don't discuss your personal goals outside of work, such as having a family. This information is not relevant and could knock you out of contention for the job. Rather, you want to connect your answer to the job you are applying for.
Think of your goals and that of the company as a Venn diagram: you want to keep your conversation confined to that overlapping section.
Example of Best Answers
Examples of good responses include:
● My long-term goals involve growing with a company where I can continue to learn, take on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much of value as I can.
● I see myself as a top performing employee in a well-established organization, like this one. I plan on enhancing my skills and continuing my involvement in (related) professional associations.
● Once I gain additional experience, I would like to move on from a technical position to management.
● In the XYZ Corporation, what is a typical career path for someone with my skills and experiences?